This paper provides a review of the Forensic Aftercare Clinic Conditional Release Program (FAC), which has been operating since December, 1995, in New Orleans, LA. The FAC is a community based program that provides clinical, rehabilitative, and supervisory services to individuals who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or unrestorably incompetent to proceed and who have been discharged from inpatient settings or diverted from jail settings and placed on conditional release by district court orders. 119 clients participated in FAC over a 7 year period. Forty-one (34.4%) had their conditional release revoked. Of the total population, 12 (10.1%) were re-arrested on at least one charge, 3 (2.4%) were arrested on felony charges, and 9 (7.6%) on misdemeanors. Only two of these charges were violent, resulting in no significant harm to victims. Twenty (16.8%) were hospitalized at least once due to relapse. Clients diverted from jail to community settings did not differ significantly on most variables from clients who were discharged from long-term hospitalization. Data related to public safety and client diversion demonstrate that clients, when appropriate, can be safely diverted to the community in lieu of hospitalization. The number of statewide clients who have been discharged from the forensic hospital into the community has increased steadily from 13 in 1995 to 29 in 2002, and statewide diversion clients have steadily increased from 0 in 1992 to 20 in 2002. The increase in statewide diversion clients and forensic discharges over this 7 year period indicates that stakeholders see the viability of the program as an alternative to as well as a step-down from long-term forensic hospitalization.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.